Back To The Future in Birmingham with The Jameson Cult Film Club
Although we’ve cover a few of the Jameson Cult Film Club events here at GeekTown, this is the first time I’ve actually had a chance to go to one myself, and thankfully, it was for a film I love – the 80s classic ‘Back To The Future‘! The venue for the nights festivities was Birmingham’s historic Town Hall. So I made my way from my office, and as I reached the outside of the venue, was greeted by a wonderful sight… That DeLorean DMC-12 – complete with flux capacitor!
After taking a few photos and chatting with the slightly eccentric owner (who looked like Doc… but I’m still not sure if that was a costume or his regular dress…), the doors opened and we were ushered into the hall itself.
Greeting us in the entrance hall were a gang of 50’s youths, led by ‘Biff’, who jokingly picked on a few members of the crowd whilst harassing the young lady who was playing ‘Lorraine’. As I cued for a goodie bag, I heard the shout ‘Hey McFly!’ from behind me, as ‘Biff’ stormed over, grabbing the shoulder of the guy in-front of me, who had made the unfortunate decision to wear a Marty McFly style body warmer! Realising his mistake, Biff grudgingly apologies to the gent, but telling him to ‘watch his step’, and rejoins his gang on the hunt for the evening’s faux Michael J Fox, much to the joy and laughter of the waiting crowd.
Goodie bag now in hand, I entered the main hall, which is a stunning room in its own right, but the folk from Jameson’s had done a great job decking it out to mirror the movie’s ‘Enchantment Under the Sea’ dance hall. As people milled around getting drinks I finally got to see fake Doc, and fake Marty wandered among the crowd, performing famous scenes from the movie. Every so often, Biff and his crew would emerge and give chase, only to be distracted, once again, by trying to chat up the lovely Lorraine.
After allowing people a bit more time to down their Jameson cocktails, and a short intro from the Jameson rep, it was time for the main event. The screening of Back To The Future.
It has been a while since I’ve watch Back To The Future, and despite it being a 27-year-old movie (wow… I feel old!) it still stand up incredibly well. Amazingly, I was also still noticing new things in the film I’d missed on earlier viewings. Such as the fact the Twin Pines Mall becomes the Lone Pines Mall on Marty’s return (due to him having crashed over one of the pines on his arrival in 1955).
Although the 2 major character in the movie are obviously Marty (Michael J Fox) and Doc (Christopher Lloyd), the real stand out performance for me is Crispin Glover as George McFly – he was also a large hit with the audience who cheered as he first arrived on-screen. It’s such a wonderfully played performance, as he shifts from nervous loser to hero at the end of the picture.
If you get a chance to go along to one of the Jameson Cult Film Club events, I’d highly recommend it. Not only is a great experience having actors actually in the room embodying the roles, and being drawn into the film by the overall environment the Jameson guys create – But also watching the film among a group of like-minded fans, that cheer as Marty out-runs Biff’s gang on a make-shift skateboard, and as Biff gets his final comeuppance, it’s just a great atmosphere to enjoy a classic movie.